Oil & Fuel L5030 ran out of diesel, how I got it running again

   / L5030 ran out of diesel, how I got it running again #1  

texasjohn

Super Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Messages
6,003
Location
Central Texas, Jarrell
Tractor
Kubota Grand L5030HSTC
Ok... well, I learned something, thought I'd pass it on.

Tractor was running purrrrfectly dandy but I knew the low fuel light was on. It was also leaking slowly at the fuel filter... bad O ring gasket.:( Making a mess and costing $$.

I replaced the gasket... pennies from the Kubota dealer which mailed it to me. Actually, there are two O ring gaskets... one large one around the top of the clear plastic bowl and another smaller one that fits over the tube that fits down inside the fuel filter.:)

So, according to the manual, I opened the air vent valve to allow air in the line/fuel bowl to escape and made sure the fuel shut off was ON so it would get fuel. As has happened on previous occasions when replacing the fuel filter, it started IMMEDIATELY and ran fine for maybe 30 seconds, then started running rough, then rougher, then stopped and would not start.:confused: First time the tractor has not run perfectly in 500+ hrs.

Hmm.....opened the fuel cap and looked in... yep.... bottom of tank visible.:eek:
Installed 5 gallons of diesel ..... tried to crank..... with air vent valve open... still no joy. Numerous tries, over several days, trying various combinations of valves open/closed, kept trickle charger on battery and never ran starter enough to get it overheated. Simply no effort to run but always cranked at good rate.:confused:

Finally, got a buddy to help me... he sat in the seat and cranked for brief intervals ... he didn't have a golden touch, either:mad: I started opening fuel lines at various points to see if fuel was getting there. Air vent valve is open. He would crank while I wrenched it.

First, opened the fitting right at the injector...on top of the engine... a bare wetness of fuel came out... no extra when cranking. Note.... getting on top of the engine to see this fitting and a wrench on it requires some major contortions! Lots of head scratching and following of fuel lines from filter to pump... there are two devices... seems to be a gravity fed fuel pump which feeds an injector pump.

So, I went to the output line of the fuel pump (it was the easiest to get to) and undid the clamp on the rubber hose and backed the hose off of the pump. Cranking got air and bubbly fuel which I let dribble out until no more bubbles, then I reappled the hose and clamp.

Cranking now got it to run rough for a second or so, then stop. Air valve is open. Crank, run, stop..... crank, run... stop.... repeat, repeat.... Probably for about 5 minutes with periods of rest to prevent overheating starter. then, finally, it began to run for a little longer... then a little longer... then finally it kept running when key was released... rough.... then a little stronger, then almost smooth.... then it was purring:D

Conclusion... replacing the fuel filter is a breeze and vehicle will restart fine using the air valve.

Run the sucker out of fuel.... the air valve is ineffective in removing air and fuel lines must be followed and proven to be supplying fuel.

I know, elemental, but I put my faith in the air valve too long.... and, now I know to NEVER run out of fuel again:rolleyes:

Hope you never need to do this, but if you do, hope you remember this and that it helps! Oh, yes... it helps to have a buddy to talk things thru with and turn the crank.... while you observe what is happening... even a 10 year old kid might work!
 
   / L5030 ran out of diesel, how I got it running again #2  

hazmat

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2002
Messages
4,034
Location
West Newbury, MA & Harrison, ME
Tractor
Kubota L5460HSTC
That's nothing at least the tractor isn't moving.:) Try it when you run your aux diesel out of fuel on a sailboat in 8 foot seas.

Step 1 drop anchor to maintain your position.

Step 2 refill tank from Jerry can without falling overboard.

Step 3 Bang your head, your hand, you elbow etc. while trying to crack lines that are on the other side of the engine from the access hatch.

Step 4 give up and try to raise sails w/o success because we were stuck between the current (cape cod canal) and the wind so the boat wouldn't point to windward to get them up. Navigator (Dad) gets wacked in the head with the boom & proceeds to bleed profusely.

Step 5 Throw in the towel and call for a tow.:mad:

Step 6 Cut the new anchor free because the tow boat operator is a moron & can't get you free to raise it.

Step 7 Have nearest Harbor Master call you a cab for ride to local hospital for stitches to patch hole in head.

Step 8 call friends for ride home (auto) because you don't feel like spending any more time on the darn boat.

Step 9 Return next day in calm conditions and start at step 2 (and end successfully at step 3.

Lessons learned - 1 - don't run out of fuel, 2 keep the sails up, even if the canal patrol reprimands you for "sailing" in the canal.

I think everyone runs their tractor out of fuel once - then they learn their lesson.:D
 
   / L5030 ran out of diesel, how I got it running again
  • Thread Starter
#3  
OP
texasjohn

texasjohn

Super Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Messages
6,003
Location
Central Texas, Jarrell
Tractor
Kubota Grand L5030HSTC
Agreed, tractor stayed put. It was over grass so excess fuel only soaked in, didn't make fire hazard. I could try it several times, over several days, and get a drink and into the cool when I got hot.

I guess that if we're going to have our toys, we gotta not run out of fuel for them.

Hope your dad's head hole filled up such that he has forgotten the event;)

Red Green should admonish us to not only keep our stick on the ice, but the sails up and the tanks loaded:eek:
 
   / L5030 ran out of diesel, how I got it running again #4  

crazyal

Super Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2003
Messages
7,730
Location
Northern Vermont
Tractor
Kubota, Case, Deere
I ran out once and learned my lesson. I knew the tank was low on the dozer but still had 3 or 4 gallons left in it so I figured there was no hurry. I was backfilling a trench when one of the tracks slipped in and before you know it she dies.

I found the best way to get it started again was to crack the lines near the injectors until fuel started coming out (of course that's after the purging of air from the filters). I removed the filter and primed it with a squirt of diesel to get her started then kept giving it squirts until it would run on it's own. I figured it was easier on the starter. Now I just keep the tank half full, lol.
 
   / L5030 ran out of diesel, how I got it running again #5  

Charlesaf3

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Messages
1,984
Location
Richmond VA & Irvington VA
Tractor
Kubota B3030, Kubota M59 TLB
This is one of the best things I've learned from TBN, and I've learned a lot. But thanks to postings, I am incredibly focused on not running out of fuel for the tractor. It seems like more fun to read about than actually go through...

When did that happen Hazmat? I've never been stuck between the current and the wind like that in tight quarters, sounds nasty. Was headed by current once down in the Virgin Islands (btwn St. John and Tortola/Thatch) to the point I couldn't tack, but its a 5 mile channel, so lots of maneuvering room.
 
   / L5030 ran out of diesel, how I got it running again #6  

JoeL4330

Platinum Member
Joined
May 28, 2004
Messages
882
Location
Harpers Ferry WV
Tractor
Kubota L4330, 6 rear remotes
I have an L4330 ...basically your 5030 w a few less hp. Mine cut out because of a blockage on the way to the fuel filter. I made the mistake of trying to start and trying to start ...over and over and each time it would run for a shorter and shorter time. With some professional help, we cleared the blockage (easy, remove the feed line at the filter and blow, replacing it quickly when it flows onto you). Then the fun began. ultimately, he broke ever line at the injector while I cranked. Finally started.

Now, for the lesson: it happened again. As soon as it died, I went to the line, cleared the blockage, reinstalled the line to fill the filter bowl, cracked open the valve (lefty Lucy) ...voila! started, ran a little ragged (as the manual says it will) then closed the valve (righty tighty).

The moral: if it dies, let it be, restore the fuel/fuel flow to the bowl and proceed. Don't try to start it (over and over) in the hope that it died for some random, inexplicable reason and if only you persevere, it will come to its senses.
 
   / L5030 ran out of diesel, how I got it running again #7  

hazmat

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2002
Messages
4,034
Location
West Newbury, MA & Harrison, ME
Tractor
Kubota L5460HSTC
Charlesaf3 said:
...

When did that happen Hazmat? I've never been stuck between the current and the wind like that in tight quarters, sounds nasty. Was headed by current once down in the Virgin Islands (btwn St. John and Tortola/Thatch) to the point I couldn't tack, but its a 5 mile channel, so lots of maneuvering room.

a few years back exiting the canal on the Buzzard's Bay side. The SW wind can really stack up the waves when the current is exiting the canal.

Oh & Dad's head is just fine - at least he claims so...

After all that you'd think I'd learn my lesson, but no, I too have run my tractor out of fuel - trying to get the lawn cut before the rain with the fuel gauge on "E". I've since bought a 55 gallon drum and get my fuel delivered - I only have to arrange for fuel once every 9-10 months vs every couple weeks with the 5 gallon jerry can.
 
   / L5030 ran out of diesel, how I got it running again #8  

Charlesaf3

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Messages
1,984
Location
Richmond VA & Irvington VA
Tractor
Kubota B3030, Kubota M59 TLB
I have trouble believing in E when I've got work to do myself, its stories like this that stop me from pushing it. How hard was it to get the 3030 to go again after running it dry?

They'll deliver to a drum? I'll have to ask my fuel oil people if they'll do that.

My pipe dream is getting a fuel pump connected to the heating oil tank in my basement. It'd be great to have drive up diesel. And heating oil is still cheaper.
 
   / L5030 ran out of diesel, how I got it running again #9  

hazmat

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2002
Messages
4,034
Location
West Newbury, MA & Harrison, ME
Tractor
Kubota L5460HSTC
It was my old tractor - NH TC18 - spent more time heading to the gas station to get more fuel than actually bleeding it, but then I did shut it down as soon as it started to sputter. and am familiar with the process having changed the fuel filter already.

The right guy will deliver 50 gallons of fuel, though they prefer larger quantities, doesn't hurt to ask. I found a biodiesel (B5, B20) source out of southern NH.
 
   / L5030 ran out of diesel, how I got it running again #10  

Charlesaf3

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Messages
1,984
Location
Richmond VA & Irvington VA
Tractor
Kubota B3030, Kubota M59 TLB
I'm still a little worried about biodiesel in tractors. No good reason, just not rated for it yet I believe. I have on occasion put b20 in there, as that's all one of the local gas stations carries.
 
 
Top